When it comes to style, looks, and insanity, nothing really comes close to the muscle car. Perhaps one of the greatest things to come out of America, muscle cars have captured the imagination of petrol heads for decades. And it’s no surprise really!
With iconic cars such as the Mustang, Corvette and Pontiac GTO it is hardly a surprise that muscle cars have stayed popular.
And of course, they are still being made to this day, even if they don’t have quite the same jaw-dropping looks as the original classic muscle car.
This list contains 15 of the very best looking muscle cars that are out there, from classics to one or two modern favorites.
But we have mostly focussed on the classics, as that is what we really think of when we think of muscle cars. There might be a surprise or two in there as well, plus of course a few of the old favorites.
15 1966 Shelby GT350
When looking at muscle cars, you can’t not look at the Shelby GT350 from 1966. The 1965 had been incredibly well received and 1966 was no different, not only in the looks department. Shelby made some of the cars high performance features optional, to tone it down for those that did not like the real hardcore performance of the 1965 model.
14 1969 AMX/3
Perhaps not quite as well known as most muscle cars, but the AMX/3 is certainly one that should be noticed. Actually a concept, the car represented the pinnacle of AMC’s and designer Richard Teague’s efforts, creating something so striking you could notice it from a mile away. It was low cost, but that did not stop it being a stunning machine.
13 Plymouth Superbird
This has to be one of my all-time favorite muscle cars, just on looks alone. It was not over the top, but that rear spoiler and those sleek lines made it stand out more than most. With its big V8 providing all the power in the world, its rarity has made it incredibly desirable and a regular six-figure sum machine at auctions around the world.
12 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS
Simply drop-dead gorgeous, the Chevelle SS spawned offspring in the SL5 and SL6, and the I6 and V8 engines that they featured were immensely popular and surprisingly economical. It is regarded as one of the all-time classic, American muscle cars and it is quite easy to see why. Make no mistake, this is a true muscle machine.
11 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat
Modern muscle cars may not quite have the same style as the classics, but they can still catch the imagination. The 2015 Dodge Challenger is certainly no exception to that, specifically the Hellcat variant. Its 707bhp Hemi V8 is simply insane, and it truly does hark back to the madcap spirit of the original muscle cars.
10 1964 Pontiac GTO
This is one of my other favorite classic muscle cars. You can’t go through a list of gorgeous American muscle cars without looking at the ’64 Pontiac GTO. It’s the original GTO and came with 6.4 and 6.6-liter V8 engines powering it. They are now some of the most desirable classic muscle cars out there.
9 1984 Chevrolet Corvette
The third generation of the Corvette had along from 1968 to 1982. The 1984 edition, the C4, only initially came out with a weak 205bhp engine. But newer fuel injection tech allowed later editions to crank out some serious performance. Looks-wise, the ’84 Corvette is one of the best there is; its sleek and smooth lines really capturing that early ‘80s feel.
8 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona
Equally as cool as the Plymouth Superbird, the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona is another classic muscle car rocking the crazy spoiler look. The figures these can fetch now are staggering. In 2017, The Clever reported that one had gone for a whopping $900,000 at auction. The car had only done 6,500 miles as well!
7 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429
The Boss 429 was born out of the need to sell 500 of a car in order to compete in NASCAR when the series was really booming. The Mustang never did compete in the series but it didn’t stop it being insane. A 375bhp V8 gave it all the power you could ever want. The ‘429 is now a rare beast, and some can go for as much as $200,000 at auction.
6 Chevrolet Impala Z11
A gorgeous machine, not many people have a bad word to say about the Impala Z11. The Impala itself was not a crazy machine, but the Z11 was, pumping over 400 bhp out of its engine! It never gets spoken of in the same manner as the Impala SS, but that in a way makes the Z11 even more special.
5 1963 Chevrolet Corvette
Simply put, this is one of the all-time great muscle cars. Perhaps that is used too much to describe the ’63 Corvette, but who doesn’t love it? It could well be the best looking muscle car there ever has, and will, be. Simply put, it is a work of art. A work of art that looks best out on the open road as well, not in a museum.
4 First Gen Ford Mustang
I was never going to leave this off the list. The first-generation Ford Mustang could well rival the ’63 Corvette in terms of greatness, and in fact it probably does. The Mustang has become one of most popular lines of cars in the world and it all started here. And frankly, no matter how good the modern ones are, nothing compares to genesis.
3 AC Cobra
Small but punch, the AC Cobra is one of the sleekest and most understated of muscle cars. But that gives it a character all of its own. A bit more sports car than muscle car, the AC Cobra started as the British AC Ace roadster, before Carroll Shelby decided to shove a big old V8 into that small body. Thus, the Cobra was born…
2 1976 Corvette Stingray
Equally as gorgeous as the 1st gen Mustang and pioneer Corvette, the ’76 Stingray is another highly popular classic muscle car. The Stingray line is still going strong today, even if it has perhaps lost that sharp, edgy styling that we can see her on the 1976 model. This generation of Stingray saw a milestone reached in 1977, when the half million production figure was hit.
1 1965 Pontiac Catalina 2+2
In 1965, Pontiac decided to drop a 338bhp 421 cubic-inch V8 into it’s all-new, big body, Catalina. The result? The awesome Catalina 2+2. Not a catchy name at all, but an incredible car. More power could be unlocked if you spent more money, putting the ultimate power figure at 376bhp! With a car that sizeable, it certainly deserved all that power to go with it.
Sources: Mecum, Corvette Story, Silver Arrow Cars, Motor Authority, Motor1, Speed Doctor